noun (used with a singular verb)

a harmonically and melodically simple waltz for piano played typically with the forefinger of each hand and sometimes having an accompanying part for a second player.

Origin of chopsticks

1890–95; perhaps after chopstick from the way the fingers are held




one of a pair of thin, tapered sticks, often of wood or ivory, held in one hand between the thumb and fingers and used chiefly in China, Japan, and other Asian countries for lifting food to the mouth.

Origin of chopstick

1690–1700; Chinese Pidgin English chop quick (see chop-chop) + stick1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for chopsticks

Contemporary Examples of chopsticks

Historical Examples of chopsticks

  • We always ask for chopsticks—it's the most fun trying to use them!

    Have We No Rights?

    Mabel Williamson

  • How people manage to eat rice with chopsticks will always be a mystery to me.


    Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson

  • Chopsticks were in evidence, though the guests were not compelled to use them.

    Bright Ideas for Entertaining

    Mrs. Herbert B. Linscott

  • He will be expected to deal with his food with a pair of chopsticks.

  • Another was ejected for playing 'chopsticks' on the piano with the edges of his hands.

    Ewing\'s Lady

    Harry Leon Wilson

British Dictionary definitions for chopsticks


pl n

a pair of thin sticks, of ivory, wood, etc, used as eating utensils by the Chinese, Japanese, and other people of East Asia

Word Origin for chopsticks

C17: from pidgin English, from chop quick, of Chinese dialect origin + stick 1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for chopsticks



also chop-stick, 1690s, sailors' partial translation of Chinese k'wai tse, variously given as "fast ones" or "nimble boys," first element from pidgin English chop, from Cantonese kap "urgent." Chopsticks, the two-fingered piano exercise, is first attested 1893, probably from the resemblance of the fingers to chopsticks.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper